If “universities are not corporations” ever was a good argument, it isn’t anymore because universities, always corporations in financial fact, become increasingly corporate in spirit every day; and if I and my colleagues are not employees, from whom do we receive salaries, promotions, equipment, offices, etc., and to whom are we responsible in the carrying out of our duties? (If it looks like a duck . . . .) It’s not God and it’s not (despite some claims to the contrary) students, and it’s not awestruck admirers of our dazzling intellects.Of course, in a technical legal sense almost all American universities have been "corporations" for quite some time. The question here is whether American universities today are much like profit-seeking commercial corporations. I agree with my colleague Stanley Fish that in many respects and in most instances the answer is "yes."
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The Nature of the Modern American University
Stanley Fish in Stanley Fish, "We're All Badgers Now," NYTimes (March 21, 2011):